8 Natural Treatments For Fibromyalgia Backed By Science
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder with many symptoms, but it is mostly defined by widespread musculoskeletal pain that has lasted for over three months. It is thought of as a modern ‘disorder’, but there is evidence from 1592 describing the condition.
Fibromyalgia is complex and can be challenging to diagnose. It has been reported that 1 in 20 people globally suffer from fibromyalgia. However, it can take some people years to get medical confirmation.
One aspect of the diagnosis was centred around how many tender points the person had on their body. Doctors pressed firmly on 18 specific points on the body, and if the person had pain in at least 4 or 5 areas, they would meet one criterion for fibromyalgia. The tender points diagnosis of fibromyalgia was first described in the early 1800s when the condition was known as “fibrositis,” meaning spontaneous pain.
As with many chronic pain disorders, there are often issues with the best way to treat people with fibromyalgia.
Since the 1980s, people have most often been prescribed antidepressants, leading to the assumption that the pain was more in the person’s head than a physical symptom. Advancements in research have now helped to change this belief. However, antidepressants have been shown to help with pain and also support sleep for those suffering.
Well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric has also been studied for its potential benefits in fibromyalgia management. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
A study by Delecroix et al. (2017) showed that turmeric supplementation reduced muscle soreness and improved recovery following intense exercise. These findings suggest its potential relevance in supporting fibromyalgia-related pain. We use turmeric in our Anti-Flam.
Ginger is another well-known anti-inflammatory herb that is being studied for its role in pain management. In a randomised controlled trial, Terry et al. (2011) found that ginger supplementation can support reduced muscle pain in individuals with fibromyalgia, highlighting its potential as a natural remedy for symptomatic relief.
6. St. John's wort
Traditionally used to treat depression and nerve-related pain, a systematic review of St. John's wort was undertaken to see if it could help with fibromyalgia symptoms. This review suggested that St. John's wort may be beneficial in improving pain, sleep quality, and overall well-being in fibromyalgia patients, although further research is warranted to confirm these findings. We use St. John's wort in our Mood Boost.
Valerian root is mostly used for its sedative and muscle-relaxant abilities, so it is often used to support sleep disturbances and muscle stiffness that can be associated with fibromyalgia.
A meta-analysis by Fernández-San-Martín et al. (2010) indicated that valerian supplementation improved sleep quality making it helpful for sleep disturbances, which can be commonly suffered by fibromyalgia patients.